2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills QB Manuel gets crash course in facing blitz

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-25 17:57

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Whether it's handling opposing pass rushers on the field, and questions off it, Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is suddenly having a hard time escaping the blitz.

Since spending much of last weekend flat on his back, Manuel was back on his feet Wednesday, feeling better prepared in facing pressure after spending the past two days working on it in practice.

The extra work became necessary in light of Manuel's struggles in a 27-20 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday. When he wasn't being sacked eight times, Manuel was sailing desperation passes out of bounds.

``Yeah, I'm a lot more prepared,'' Manuel said. ``I learned a lot from that game and the mistakes I made.''

The Bills' defense went after him in practice Wednesday. And Manuel spent part of his day off Tuesday working on his own in making quick, precise throws downfield.

The only thing missing was a 250-pound linebacker in his face.

``No, we didn't have that,'' Manuel said with a laugh. ``We couldn't simulate that one. But it was the best we could.''

Manuel is going to have to do much better with the Bills (1-2) preparing to face another attacking style defense on Sunday, when they host the Baltimore Ravens (2-1).

Against the Jets, Manuel at times looked rattled in completing 19 of 42 attempts for 243 yards and a touchdown. And he was particularly bad in third- or fourth-down situations.

Though he hit tight end Scott Chandler for a 33-yard touchdown pass on third-and-6, Manuel was otherwise dreadful. On third or fourth down, he went 3 of 14 for 55 yards passing and was sacked twice.

``I felt like I should've been more composed,'' Manuel said. ``When they're bringing the house at you, it's a tough thing to deal with. But nonetheless, you have to deal with it. It's just a part of maturing in the position.''

Until that happens, he understands opposing defenses are going to take the same approach against him.

``I'm sure a lot more teams are going to try to amp it up a little bit, too,'' he said. ``So I think the biggest thing is showing that you can handle it, and that's when they'll stop doing the blitzes.''

Manuel's struggles came a week after he showed signs of his potential by rallying the Bills to a last-second 24-23 win over Carolina.

In taking a big step back against the Jets, Manuel showed the tell-tale signs of inconsistency encountered by most NFL rookies. And that's raised concerns among Bills players as to how long it might take Manuel to find his footing against the blitz.

``It's hard to say,'' center Eric Wood said. ``I think he'll rebound, though. Just working with him for the past few months, I think every time a challenge is presented, he's kind of stepped up.''

Running back C.J. Spiller offered a mixed response Wednesday.

He credited Manuel for having poise, but also added: ``We just have to do a better job of just calming him down.''

Not all of the blame should land on Manuel, because the Bills are experiencing difficulty maintaining drives whether they're running or passing.

Buffalo has converted just 14 of 45 third down chances. And more often than not, that's been the result of having difficulty gaining yards on first and second down.

Manuel's inconsistencies have come as no surprise to Jim Kelly, the Bills Hall of Fame quarterback.

``He's getting there. He's had some tough days, but what rookie hasn't?'' Kelly said.

``We all hope he'll turn out to be the quarterback we've been praying for,'' Kelly added. ``Great kid. Great work ethic. Time will only tell. But I'm one guy who is pulling for EJ Manuel.''

NOTES: Kelly spoke while attending a ceremony at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum honoring late teammate, center Kent Hull. ... CB Leodis McKelvin (right hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, and his status is uncertain for Sunday. ... DT Kyle Williams (right Achilles tendon), DE Mario Williams (left ankle), WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring) and RG Kraig Urbik (right knee) also did not practice but are expected to play.

---

AP Sports Writer David Brandt contributed from Jackson, Miss.

---

NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Eben BrittonAug 30 05:12p

The Chicago Bears released WR Josh Bellamy, C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, LB Devekeyan Lattimore, CB Albert Louis-Jean, WR Dale Moss, DT Lee Pegues, DT Tracy Robertson, CB [ More ]

Chris ScottAug 30 05:02p

The Carolina Panthers released LB Denicos Allen, CB Carrington Byndom, OG Derek Dennis, LB Adarius Glanton, SS Robert Lester, WR Marcus Lucas, OT Andrew McDonald, FS Tom Nelson, DT [ More ]

Stephen BowenAug 30 04:12p

Washington Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson (knee) and DE Stephen Bowen (undisclosed) were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list. OL Maurice Hurt was released as well.

Alex HeneryAug 30 02:52p

Philadelphia Eagles PK Alex Henery has been released.

Ricardo AllenAug 30 01:52p

Atlanta Falcons LB Jacques Smith and CB Ricardo Allen have been released.

Alex HeneryAug 30 01:42p

Philadelphia Eagles PK Alex Henery, WR Damaris Johnson, DE Damion Square and RB Matthew Tucker have been released.

Nate PalmerAug 30 01:42p

Green Bay Packers LBs Nate Palmer (knee) and Adrian Hubbard (leg) have been placed on Reserve/Injured.

Kenjon BarnerAug 30 01:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) has been waived/injured.

Maikon BonaniAug 30 01:22p

Tennessee Titans PK Maikon Bonani has been released.

Kris DurhamAug 30 01:12p

Detroit Lions WR Kris Durham has been released.

Curtis MarshAug 30 01:12p

Philadelphia Eagles CB Curtis Marsh has been released.

Asa JacksonAug 30 01:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (chest), CB Lardarius Webb (back), CB Asa Jackson (ankle) and OT Jah Reid (concussion) are participating in practice Saturday, Aug. 30.

Tajh BoydAug 30 01:02p

New York Jets QB Tajh Boyd and RB Alex Green have been released.

Stephen HillAug 30 12:52p

New York Jets WR Stephen Hill has been released.

Josh BoyceAug 30 12:42p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce was informed of his release Saturday, Aug. 30.

Kevin VickersonAug 30 12:32p

The Denver Broncos have released DT Kevin Vickerson.

A.J. EddsAug 30 12:12p

New York Jets LB A.J. Edds (finger) was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Lanear SampsonAug 30 12:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lanear Sampson was released Saturday, Aug. 30, according to a source.

Darryl TappAug 30 12:02p

The Detroit Lions have released DE Darryl Tapp.

Daniel ThomasAug 30 11:52a

Miami Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Marcus ThigpenAug 30 11:52a

Miami Dolphins WR Marcus Thigpen (hamstring) was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Mario ManninghamAug 30 11:52a

Updating a previous story, the New York Giants are expected to reach injury settlements with WRs Mario Manningham (calf) and Trindon Holliday (hamstring) after both have been placed in the season-ending Reserve/Injured list.

Johnny PatrickAug 30 11:42a

New York Jets CB Johnny Patrick was released, Saturday, Aug. 30, according to a source.

James HarrisonAug 30 11:32a

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Bengals) announced his retirement from the NFL Saturday, Aug. 30.

Ronnie HillmanAug 30 11:22a

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (illness) and CB Kayvon Webster (illness) were taken to the hospital after the final preseason game because they became ill. Both are expected to [ More ]

Daryl RichardsonAug 30 11:22a

New York Jets RB Daryl Richardson has been informed of his impending release, according to sources, Saturday, Aug. 30.

Mike KafkaAug 30 11:02a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released QB Mike Kafka, according to a source.

Jeff DempsAug 30 11:02a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived RB Jeff Demps, according to a source.

Kellen DavisAug 30 10:52a

The New York Giants may consider re-signing free-agent TE Kellen Davis after Week 1, according to a source. Davis' salary would not be guaranteed if he signs after Week 1.

Chris OgbonnayaAug 30 10:32a

The Cleveland Browns cut RB Chris Ogbonnaya Saturday, Aug. 30.

Trindon HollidayAug 30 10:32a

The New York Giants have placed WRs Mario Manningham (calf) and Trindon Holliday (hamstring) on the Reserved/Injured list, according to a source.

Lache SeastrunkAug 30 10:22a

The Washington Redskins would like to sign free-agent RB Lache Seastrunk (Redskins) to their practice squad if he is not claimed off waivers. He was cut because he needs time to improve his play.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group